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combining cards: High Priestess, King of Swords, Five of Wands

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 11 Feb 2005, and now archived in the Forum Library.



firemaiden  11 Feb 2005 
Again I have laid out three random cards, with no positions (or order) or spread or question.

The Five of Wands
The High Priestess
King of Swords.

I wonder if we might take a look at the myriad possiblities for reading these three cards, how their meanings combine, modify or complement eachother.

I used the spiral deck, for lack of an RWS, but have also laid out their TdM counterparts.

For starters I'll just share some of the things I notice.

On the Spiral deck, very much like the RWS deck, the High Priestess and the King of Swords both face front. The HP has an aspect of deep calm, as if partly in a trance, seeming to speak of access to occult knowledge.

The King brandishes a sword which looks like the one on the Ace - If the Ace is the sword of truth, the sword of slicing through boule-sheet, the sword of faith's fire burning through ice, the sword of passion and enlightenment cutting through the foggy greyness of life, the sword of "magic words" - well then, this King is he who brandishes this truth, this passion, faith, and fire.

I sense in this King, an "unflinchingness", a willingness to do the right and good thing, to act in favour of truth, even when it may be a painful task.

In contrast, the HP gives me the sense of one for whom right and wrong, truth and falsehood may all be relative, one for whom truth with a capital T may not be possible to establish. Anyway, her job is not to slice through illusions. On the contrary, I think she is the mistress of them. As keeper of the veil, I should think illusion is her middle name.

It is almost as if the High Priestess and the King of Swords represent opposite principles. Not just feminine vs. masculine, but passivity, versus action, reaching outward (sword) versus turning inward (book).

Perhaps this is why the five of wands shows up in the mix.

Is there a conflict between the two principles?

In this vein, it amuses me see the Roy d'epťe side by side with La Papesse of the Tarot de Marseille, and to see how they are scowling at each other. 


Imagemaker  11 Feb 2005 
Got up too early this morning (power outage, snow storm) and now am skimming AT in a power-restored fog (no morning tea yet). Interesting post!

Nice writing, FM! Had a thought . . .

Simply that HP is the skill of Knowing (deep inner truth) and the K of Swords is Doing (perhaps with too much force). Perhaps the 5 wands is the (relatively) minor battles we face and have to figure out how to blend our knowing with our doing.

Off to boil water . . . 


firemaiden  11 Feb 2005 
ah! that's fun, Imagemaker. (I love snow!) (is it pretty?)

Your idea makes me think of right and left brain - perhaps the HP is one side, the King of Sw. the other of the bicameral mind, and the five of wands represent the synapses firing - the little electric storm going on all over, and back and forth between the two. Don't those five wands look like the tangle of brain? 


Imagemaker  11 Feb 2005 
Quote:
Don't those five wands look like the tangle of brain?


Good point! A recent family experience comes to mind, when I was asked my opinion on another's relationship. I was literally caught between what I knew deep inside about what was best and what I wanted to say, felt driven to say (which might seem interfering).

Tea is made, I can start to function now. Yes, the snow is gorgeous--heavy wet stuff outlining every branch. And yay! my husband cleared the driveways (we live on a corner and have 2--too many in this weather!) 


catti  11 Feb 2005 
firemaiden wrote:
Again I have laid out three random cards, with no positions (or order) or spread or question.

The Five of Wands
The High Priestess
King of Swords.

I wonder if we might take a look at the myriad possiblities for reading these three cards, how their meanings combine, modify or complement eachother.




Were this a reading for another and nothing was jumping at me what i would do is add it up 5+2 = 7 the chariot with a king of swords
so now i get the conflict of the 5's the movement of the 7 and the Prescence of the king with the HP in the middle: now im feeling it more
it is a tme to use the prescence of mind, dont talk to much and stay out of trouble........of course that could be good advice in general , eh?

do they conflict or compliment, asks firemaiden
well, both i see alot of 3 card readings in terms of internal "what you think" and external "what you are doing" ways...the HP is inside giving counsel while the KofS is the outside way to behave the 5 is the issue , all that conflict and wands waving around.
Catti 


firemaiden  11 Feb 2005 
Oh thank you catti, what an interesting technique. I have never thought of adding the numbers together. That could yield all manner of interesting results. 


Moongold  12 Feb 2005 
firemaiden ~

The last time you did one of these it turned out to be a reading for yourself if I recall correctly. Iím not going back to check so please give me some latitude here.

However, your energy surrounds these cards as you picked them and I am going to read them in that light. I actually see them as very relevant to recent issues here. In this very forum. 

V Wands could be seen as conflict. At least there is some energetic jousting as there commonly is in the forums with people of such diverse backgrounds and values. Notice we all have the same wands and they are all bursting with energy and ideas in the form of little green sucklings.

Here we are like kids on the village green gently jousting at each other. The one thing we have in common is the Tarot so none of us look as though we are wielding out wands with anger but some are maybe not so strong as others and may be damaged. I notice there is a smaller person standing aside with a wand but just looking on..

Now here is firemaiden, Moderator, wondering how she is going to handle this. She dons her High Priestess attire and retreats to the sanctuary of the Moderatorís Forum to ponder the next steps. The doors to the verbal skirmish donít close behind her. The only barrier or protection is a curtain embroidered with pomegranates.

What are the undercurrents here? , High Priestess asks firemaiden How can you manage this situation so that everyone is empowered? At least there are pomegranates here. Not rotten tomatoes, though I fear the rotten tomatoes arenít very far away

Firemaiden collects herself and opens the book of unknown knowledge. It happens to be a book of poems by the well known author, Margaret Attwood The crescent Moon snuggles in to firemaidenís feet. She feels balanced between the air, the earth and the seas Ė all of these elements are present in the chamber. She doesnít need fire energy. Am abundance of that awaits her outside. As always, the answers come.

After some time she metamorphoses into the King of Swords and appears before the still jostling thread. Like the High Priestess, she is dignified and calm and it does not take long before silence prevails.

See this Sword ? she said. You think I am the King of Swords? Well you are wrong, my friends. Look at me closely. Do you not see yourselves reflected here?

You are all Kings of Words. All that matters is how you use them.


Firemaiden slowly began to sing, almost like a chant really

You begin this way:
this is your hand,
this is your eye,
this is a fish, blue and flat
on the paper, almost
the shape of an eye
This is your mouth, this is an O
or a moon, whichever
you like. This is yellow.

Outside the window
is the rain, green
because it is summer, and beyond that
the trees and then the world,
which is round and has only
the colors of these nine crayons.

This is the world, which is fuller
and more difficult to learn than I have said.
You are right to smudge it that way
with the red and then
the orange: the world burns.

Once you have learned these words
you will learn that there are more
words than you can ever learn.
The word hand floats above your hand
like a small cloud over a lake.
The word hand anchors
your hand to this table
your hand is a warm stone
I hold between two words.

This is your hand, these are my hands,
this is the world,
which is round but not flat and has more colors
than we can see.
It begins, it has an end,
this is what you will come back to,
this is your hand.


Margaret Atwood

All was silent in the warm evening air, but the words of the song still echoed gently on the breeze. People were quiet and slowly began to look at their words.

And Firemaiden retired once more to the knee of the High Priestess, who began to read to her. 


firemaiden  12 Feb 2005 
LOL, Moongold, I still don't understand the parable...but it's pretty. :)

I guess it could be a reading for me... I didn't intend it to be so, however. :) (and if it is, I'd have to move the thread to "your readings")

I was sort of hoping we could use it as sort of a workshop/woodshed excercise open discussion type thing for exploring different ways finding meanings in a combination of cards. 


Moongold  12 Feb 2005 
firemaiden ~

In a similar thread recently where you drew three cards including the Devil and 6 Pentacles, there was a lot of discussion about "meaning" and combinations.

Somehow in the that thread we went from discussing a random grouping of cards and the possible meanings to what this combination might reveal of the person who drew the cards. I think the thread may have moved on to some discussion of you having drawn the cards. I cannot remember the detail. I have just gone back to check and it was your own post, Post 41 in that htread, where you indicated that the throw could relate to issues in your own life, and that all three "takes" did in unconnected ways.

Now ....... I hope I didn't dream this! My dreams of late are almost like walking in the present so perhaps I should have checked.

Of course, this raises some interesting questions about the energy surrounding any combination of cards you (or anyone else) might draw for discussions like this. Are they simply random combinations of cards or do they reflect some issues flowing from the person who draws them?

To be honest I worked from this basis (that your energy may surround these cards) because it is the one unifying theme. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that your selection was not indeed random but may reflect issues going on in your own life. Without context a reading or workshopping of cards in this way is perhaps less meaningful. Without being given context, people analysing the cards will soon provide one.

The implications of this combination of cards (drawn by you) and a situation in a recent thread about language and meaning (in relation to VIII Swords and mental illness) was immediately obvious to me. I hope thatphrasing is sufficiently objective. :). I think the principles around this past situation apply frequently in the life of Aeclectic.

V Wands was the conflict on the thread. High Priestess represents the intuitive wisdom often required to solve complex and layered problems leading to conflict. The problem (in my view) was about words -what they mean, how powerful they are and how we use them. Here we come to King Swords . The poem by Margaret Attwood is a beautiful one about words and what they can been on symbolic and practical levels.

I hope you understand now. If you don't then maybe this whole exercise is simply a demonstration of how differently people think and perhaps there is simply learning in that alone.

I enjoyed doing it anyway, firemaiden. The power of the Tarot and its application to just about any situation in life never ceases to amaze me. 


Moongold  12 Feb 2005 
Perhaps I could have another go at this, removing it from context altogether.

In V Wands, the jostling boys look like peasants - the common man. The next two cards pose a dilemma as to how to settle this. You have an intuitive choice which is to do nothing - to let people sort things out for themselves (High Priestess) or you can opt for the rule of Law (King Swords).

I couldn't find my copy of the Tao right now but there is a quote in there somewhere about the wise leader governing by doing nothing. It is much more than simply doing nothing of course - as the High Priestess is much more than a simple statue.

Tell you what, firemaiden call Umbrae and MeeWah :D. It is really hard for this common woman to string much of a story between these cards. 


firemaiden  12 Feb 2005 
Moongold wrote:
Of course, this raises some interesting questions about the energy surrounding any combination of cards you (or anyone else) might draw for discussions like this. Are they simply random combinations of cards or do they reflect some issues flowing from the person who draws them?


aha! this may be getting to the crux of things.

Yikes!~! my nihilism is sticking out... how naturally I assume that nothing has meaning... unless we give it meaning. I completely forget that it is not the way everyone thinks.

Thank you, Moongold, you jar me into awareness. 


firemaiden  12 Feb 2005 
Moongold wrote:
In V Wands, the jostling boys look like peasants - the common man. The next two cards pose a dilemma as to how to settle this. You have an intuitive choice which is to do nothing - to let people sort things out for themselves (High Priestess) or you can opt for the rule of Law (King Swords).


Fascinating interp. Moongold. And now you put it like that, I understand the parable better. ;)

Thanks! 


catti  14 Feb 2005 
firemaiden wrote:
an interesting technique. I have never thought of adding the numbers together.


Some people use the bottom of the deck , or draw another card when they are "stuck".....since i have nothing except cards to go on i add them up and go with major arcana for the meaning behind the meaning sort of thing....sort of like a dream within a dream...btw i LOVE 3 card readings..so thanks, would love to continue participating in these kind of readings that arent personal readings.
Catti 


The combining cards: High Priestess, King of Swords, Five of Wands thread was originally posted on 11 Feb 2005 in the Using Tarot Cards board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the active threads in Using Tarot Cards, or read more archived threads.

 
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